Eddie Veder Recalls How The Roskilde Tragedy Nearly Broke Up Pearl Jam

With the Astrowold tragedy freshly at the forefront of the musical world’s focus, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder’s earlier comments on a similar circumstance that his band found themselves in have emerged.

Speaking on his Audible original I Am Mine, Vedder recalls the band’s infamous performance at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark on June 30th, 2000, a gig that ended in tragedy with nine deaths due to a crowd surge.

“There was at least one person in the band, I remember, that thought maybe we should never play again,” Vedder says on the recording, recalling the feeling around the band from the time.

“We all had to process something that we all went through as individuals, but also with the help of each other.”

It would be the last time Pearl Jam performed at a festival until Reading and Leeds 2006 – but even going back to headline shows heightened tensions within the group, which came to a head when the band resumed performing on August 3rd, 2000.

“Our nerves were pretty heightened the night before,” he says. “We had a brief soundcheck and it felt a little strange, looking out at empty seats… it had a different meaning.

“Then it started storming and I’m in this normal room, looking out, and hearing thunder crack, lightning… windows were shaking, hail started coming down – this is in the summer – and then you’re gonna play outdoors the next day. It started feeling very tenuous.

“There was so much emotion going on, I thought, ‘I can harness this, I gotta do something.’ I had a small tape recorder, and that’s when I recorded and figured out the song I Am Mine. It was all about getting ready for that first show, and hoping we’d all be safe the next night.”

Purchase I Am Mine from Audible here

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